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Old 01-23-2013, 09:07 AM   #1 
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Location: Kentucky, USA
Concerned about possible popeye..

I woke up this morning and my boyfriend told me he thinks one of Prince's eyes has a "white spot" above it. I looked at the fish and noticed what he was concerned about, but personally I don't think it's anything. Fish eyes protrude slightly on their own. However, he's very concerned and so I started looking up how to check for and treat popeye.

I know it would be easier if I had pictures, and I am trying to find my camera to take some.. it's packed away somewhere.

Down to the treatment: Would it hurt to treat Prince with Epsom Salts? I read you want to get the water temp up to around 86.. but his heater doesn't go beyond 78 (turns itself off). Not sure how important that is to this treatment.

Prince is a new fish, we got him from Wal-mart. He has had a rough ride since we saved him from his little cup of a home. Before we got him into his cozy 5 gallon, he was in one of those small betta cubes that was maybe only 2 liters, and divided. While out shopping for new homes, our cat managed to find and flip the container, spilling the fish onto the carpet. No idea how long left on the carpet, but Prince survived, Valentine did not. He had a light film on him for the following two days, with only treatment of Stress Coat, but the film went away (we figured it was his natural coating that had been disturbed/dirtied). He's been in his new home for 2 days now, and we are doing daily water changes, as he is being cycled with the tank. Since it's a new set-up tank, it's readings weren't much of note. Nitrite/Nitrate = 0, Ammonia = 0.25-0.50, pH = 7.6+ (could have been higher as I did the regular pH test, not High pH). Those were the readings BEFORE we changed the water last night, and we did a ~20-25% water change. He is active and seeming fine. He likes to rub on the heater and his silk plant every once in a while. There are 3 other plastic plants in the aquarium which he doesn't care for.

Anyway, I'll try to get that camera and take a couple pics of him if I can.. I googled fish popeye and those were some pretty extreme looking eyes. His definately doesn't look anything like that, but who knows, it could be the start of something.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:30 AM   #2 
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EDIT! I took some pictures, as I conveniently found my camera quickly (but I am trying to find the device for the card reader now!), but I think I see what my boyfriend is concerned about. There is, in fact, a small white area behind the eye.. disc? I would call it their lid but I know they don't blink!). It's really hard to see and I only noticed it in certain lighting. So disregard on this post the parts where I say I don't see anything.

EDIT 2: I also wonder if this could be something to do with our treated tap water.. as I know this area is notorious for having very hard water (limestone). What should I do about this?

Last edited by Hollthulhu; 01-23-2013 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:43 PM   #3 
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Bettas can adapt to a wide range of ph. It's the swings that are hard on them. As long as it's under 9 he should be fine. If it's close to 9 and especially under 9 I would cut it 50/50 with RO (reverse osmosis water). I would not do this unless you're sure you need to. If you do it needs to be the exact same source RO every time and it needs to be carefully measured exactly the same every time for a water change. It also needs to be premixed before using.

I don't know why you want the heat so high.. it's fine where it is. 78-80 is ideal.

He's seeing too much ammonia and this is causing his illness. You should test daily and do a 50% change any time you see even as little as .25ppm. It should never get above that or sit there. In addition to this a 50% water change with gravel siphon is needed.

Is he just swimming through the plants or is he obviously rubbing or flashing on them? This is also a sign of disease.

At this point he's not fit to be used to cycle this tank. He needs to be removed to clean water where he gets much more frequent and complete water changes (use same temp water and acclimate each time). Anything around 1-2 gallons would be fine. I would do 100% water changes daily or every other day. Sounds like he will need epsom salts (pure 100% magnesium sulfate with no additives) and a gram positive or broad spectrum antibiotic like Kanaplex, Maracyn Plus or Furan 2, but will await your photo.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:47 PM   #4 
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I wasn't able to find my media device, so I gave up for now. His eye is definitely doing a little something. It's not way out there, and I don't think anyone who wasn't trying to look would notice, but as an owner, I notice the change.

As for his rubbing on things, I am not sure? He darts at them and wiggles against the large leaves of the one silk plant. It isn't all the time, maybe just a few times a day?

I will see about getting him a small emergency tank come Friday. Does this need to have a filter and heater set up, or just heater? And can I use the heater from the current tank, or should I get an extra one? Also.. keep it bare or put gravel and some decor in it? Sorry I don't obviously know what I'm doing here... :(

And sorry, I thought in order to have the epsom salts work, people were mentioning slightly higher temperatures in other posts to use.

Only thing I have right now I could immediately put him in is a little kritter carrier type thing, and it's been so cold here at night, I would worry.

Last edited by Hollthulhu; 01-23-2013 at 07:51 PM.
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